87:6 “We shall teach you and you will not forget.”
We read the Qur’an in the present tense.
Everything is given to us. Our memory and our abilities are all given. This makes us realize that we do not own anything. We are utterly dependent on a One that keeps sustaining us.
The ability to learn is given to us and the ability to remember is also given to us. Ability to forget is also given to us. In our relationship with creation and our ability to receive the message of the Creator through the revelation (Prophets), we are endowed with the ability to understand what is being taught to us in creation and in the explanation (Speech of God). What is taught in the Quran, this ability is given to us.
Everything is interesting and exciting in the universe. Don’t you wonder how wet shirts dry up in open air? Movement of air is exciting and water vapors are exciting as well. Some things are difficult to understand i.e. learning ability. How do you remember? Everything is miraculous but some things are more miraculous than others. How come we remember? Have you ever thought about it? If you want to remember something, you may not be able to remember it. When you get older, it happens more frequently. It is not within my will and I keep forgetting it. Somethings remain and somethings do not. It has nothing to do with my own manipulation and controlling.
- Teaching is from my Creator, remembering is from my Creator and not remembering is from my Creator. I am just using it without realizing what is happening, how they are arranged in their perfect forms by a Conscious Choice.
Teachings of the revelation are more essential to our needs as human beings. We are conscious beings and when we communicate with the rest of the world, we are aware of the meaning reflected in this world. It is not a matter of knowing how to read and write. The physical appearance of the beings seem to us as not having the ability to read the meaning manifested in themselves. As far as I am concerned, I am conscious about my being and I see what things demonstrate to me. Being created as a conscious being, human beings can really understand with the help of the Creator through the scriptures what the meanings conveyed to us are. We can really gather them and make sense of them as much as we understand.
How can we deduce meaning from things? We are not only made up of flesh, bones and cells but also our consciousness. How can my particles learn and deduce meaning from what is manifest and what is hidden? We have to discuss the hidden side of things. The Speech of the Creator reminds us what is already in us and in creation.
What is the hidden side of creation? Any meaning that I am extracting from creation. As far as I am concerned, I can extract meaning. Hidden means something is hidden and waiting to be discovered. I am expecting to uncover and make it manifest for me.
What is hidden in creation? The meaning. What does the meaning refer to? What does creation point to? In other words, whatever its Source wants me to know. The meaning refers to what the qualities point to.
In creation, what is hidden? The meaning or the qualities of the Creator manifested in creation.
Analogy: Looking at a piece of art, we see dots. Only human consciousness extracts meaning from the combination or structure of these dots. When looking at a piece of art, we uncover the hidden/meaning side of it i.e. the qualities of the artist manifested in the piece of art.
- What is in the piece of art? dots + hidden qualities which are nothing but the manifested qualities of the artist.
When you look at a book, you see material components (paper, ink, shapes…). What is hidden? The meaning is hidden. What does a conscious being do? Extract and uncover the meaning. I am given the ability to learn how to extract the meaning. The ability is given to me and the meaning in the book is put by the author. When I read, I extract meaning, i.e. I discover the knowledge of the author. Material side is taken away, what remains in the book? You are face to face with the author’s knowledge. Material side disappears because it is not your interest anymore. The meaning is of interest.
87:7 “except whatever God wills, He knows both what is manifest and what is hidden.”
He is the One who arranges the particles which is the manifestation side and He is the One who puts meaning in it. God says I know what is hidden. I say: why do you tell me this? From my end, I have to look for what is hidden. It is teaching me to discover what qualities I have. It means that I have the ability to be aware of it and get to know who the Creator of that object is. Get to know what qualities the artist has so I will communicate with the Artist. When I read it, the material side of the piece of art (particles and paper) becomes irrelevant because I am with the Artist now. When the Quran says: “I know what is manifest and what is hidden”, means that It wants us to communicate with It by realizing whatever qualities are manifested in creation when you discover it, you are with Me. That is how we are expected to live in the Presence of God. Although, I am looking at the art, in reality I am communicating with the artist.
When I look at the universe, if I have the intention to read what is hidden or choose to be conscious, it means that I am communicating with the Creator of the universe. When you look at me, my physical side is eating food but by using my qualities given to me, I am communicating with the Creator if I discover the hidden side of creation.
As a created being, I am also a book and a piece of art. I am conscious of my existence. I am given the consciousness to be aware of my own qualities. When I realize what is in me through my consciousness, I am in contact with my Creator. When I deduce meaning from the book, I get rid of the physical side of the book and I start communicating with the author. I am looking at the paper but I am with the author. If the paper is you, you start seeing within your abilities nothing but the qualities of your Creator.
A famous saying: “When you look at me, I am the truth (haaq).”
When you realize that all the qualities within you are nothing but manifested qualities of your Creator, whatever you feel, you say: “that is what my Creator is teaching me and what my Creator is.”
One year of full-time education in Sufi tradition can lead you to this point: “My human side is (the representation of) the truth”.
When you look at a piece of art, you are looking and admiring the art/qualities on it. When you extract the art manifested on it, you say the artist has all the qualities. People think that you are talking about the piece of art. If you are careful, although you look at the piece of art, you are communicating with the manifested qualities of the artist. When you think about your own qualities, you experience the manifested qualities of the Creator. At this point, can a man ever claim anything to be from himself? Example: I am generous. No. The Generous One is manifesting within me. I am nothing. Some people went to the extreme and say “we do not exist”. They are denying their physical existence. This is not the right conclusion; our physical existence is also given by the same One Who embedded in it all human qualities.
You can experience this and practice: “Whatever the qualities I have are nothing but the qualities manifested by God”.
Because we have freewill, we can change the direction of these qualities by appropriating it to ourselves. “This is my talent. I gain this as a result of my own ability”. That is the “Karoon type” personality as mentioned in the scripture, a worst man who is proud of himself. Here, I am Karoon and I need to check myself. I can also corrupt myself. Example: Everyone is given the sense of compassion. I am free to use it to acknowledge its Creator, not to acknowledge or not use it at all. Instead of being a compassionate person, you can be ruthless. If we freely analyze ourselves, we can understand all the qualities within us are given properties. No one can say that I made my ability to think and reason.
Everyone admits that they are given existence by something else. However, when we use our qualities and abilities, we can attribute this action to ourselves. Example: When I practice Compassion, I can say that I am a compassionate being. Instead, my Creator is manifesting the qualities of Compassion in my existence and if I allow it to function freely, it functions and it is not me. I am just using my free will to let it go, rather than choosing not to go or corrupt the reality and claim that it is my own quality. Just as when you open the valve, water runs. Can you say the water is mine because I opened the valve? No. The quality of Compassion is already given to me. By using my freewill, I let it function or I can turn the direction or choose not to use it. When it runs, can you say the water is mine? You say I let it go. All the qualities manifested in us are nothing but the qualities of the Maker. We are like mirrors reflecting the qualities of the origin of light. (It is not difficult at all. When we study carefully, we are experiencing it right now. We do not think and reflect on our existence. We do not reflect on our being, which kind of qualities am I given?)
When you turn the valve off, it is you choosing not to keep it on. When I choose something, I am not creating anything. Freewill is not able to create anything but acts according to the order of creation and a way of asking the Creator to create an event a certain way. Do I contribute anything in creation? The nature of freewill is such that it is given to you to use it freely. It is the choice of the Creator that you have to be free in your decision. I have to have two arms, it is not my choice. But I am using them, in fact I am using the given properties and I am free to use them. I am not creating freewill. It is given to me with the ability to choose freely within the options available in the order.
If you start thinking about the “nature” of freewill, you will go nowhere. If you think about the nature of power of sight, you go nowhere, you are given it and you just use it. People reduce the power of sight to physical eyes only. In the world, none of the science studies the abstract side of power of sight, they cannot measure it and put it into coordination, it is a concept that I am experiencing;there is no sign in creation that I can physically interact with it. I can only experience it not define it. The power of sight is not your eyes. Same goes with the power of thinking and remembering, how do they work? We can study how the brain works physically, but how are your thoughts given existence, can we study that?
Freewill is a quality which has no physical representative in the world. Power of sight is related to the eyes. Power of smell is related to the nose. Power of will is not related to any physical side. Spirit operates within me and that is why we cannot really study it physically. But we are sure of the existence of the freewill, spirit and all the qualities attributed to my human side. Their existence is so obvious to me and my physical being. We are living with it and there is no physical side to it.
Scientists are helping the animal side when they find cures, not our human side which asks all sorts of existential questions. Spirit is the subtle subject because we do not have physical representation of it. Body is here and humanity is taken away that is called “death”. Wise people say human beings do not die, animal dies. Get to know yourself. We are precious beings; do not treat yourself as a physical thing. You are completely different from what you are physically.
When you think of your human qualities and use them, you are just letting God function through the valve of your freewill. Either turn the valve on or off. We are so much engaged in the physical world, we think that we are physically acting and are the source of our actions. I am just letting the qualities go and function, that is what is already in me, what is hidden in me, the meaning written within my physical book. This meaning is the manifestation of Power and knowledge of my Creator nothing else. See yourself as a book conveying qualities of your Creator. You are created in such a way that you acknowledge the manifested qualities of the Creator.
The discipline of Biology has turned into the discipline of Psychology, and Psychology will end up declaring that we cannot physically study human consciousness (spirit or soul). Philosophy claimed for centuries that we are going to understand reality of creation and now it admitted that we cannot understand reality of creation by using its materialistic approach. Philosophy nowadays is about producing questions and not getting any certain answer. They say since we cannot get answers, everything is relative; therefore, there is no absolute truth i.e. no absolute answer according to the materialistic criteria they use. Human beings are nothing but consciousness; but we cannot know, when we use the materialistic approach, anything about consciousness.
Denial, corruption or deviation is a misuse of freewill. For example, jealousy is a quality which is not bad when it is used in its place. When you use it in the wrong way, it becomes a bad quality. For example, the producer of the knife does not have a bad intention with producing the knife, although someone may use it to kill another person. We have freewill which may turn good quality into another area and use it in the wrong way.
Solution for the misuse of jealousy: If you appreciate someone’s qualities, then say to yourself that I am a human being and I can be like him as well. It means he worked and God created the result for him which means if I work my Creator promises that it is within the order and he will give me the same result as well. Instead of envying him, thank him “you were the best example for me”.
Take his qualities as a reminder that the Creator is creating and letting you know what His Will is in the order of the creation. It is within the will of the Creator that one can be knowledgeable. Rather than being jealous of him, you can benefit from him and learn from his position.
Problem: We may not see the relationship between the Creator of the qualities and my responsibility. We wrongly attribute the qualities to the person and say he has it and I do not have it. Hasad (jealousy) is distorted version of qibta (appreciation). We have to admire the quality. We need to have a sense of qibta, for example, from the Prophetic teachings, what we would like to have is possible to be like the one who has it and let me be like that. If I attribute qualities to the person, rather than having qibta, I start developing hasad (envying.)
Whatever you think as a problem as far as usage of human senses are concerned: “why am I feeling stressed, uncomfortable, ignorant about something, lonely…” here is the formula that leads to it.
- Your choice (freewill.) If it is used in the wrong direction, it is the source of all problems
That is: I am distressed, I feel confused, I feel bored, I feel lonely…as a result of my own choice.
In realty there is no loneliness, your Creator is always manifesting Its qualities through you. You are the representative of the qualities of the Creator, what else do you want? You are with your Creator with endless qualities within you. How can you be stressed?
I am nothing but the combination of endless manifested qualities of my Creator. Some say I am self-sufficient. How can I be self-sufficient? I will die.
We do not choose unconsciously or randomly without realizing, we are given awareness of qualities within the qualities of our existence.
Anything that human quality does not have a physical relevance are experiential only, not physically traceable. Human beings have a lot of qualities which do not have physical existence. A person’s physical construction is written in human genes. You can trace it from there. But there is no physical connection for loving, crying, free choice. Can you deny their existence? No.
Tags: Al-Ala, Ala Series